It’s the Wairarapa Balloon Festival this week. The boy and I got up early to go and see the balloons.
It was just past dawn when the first one drifted into view.
Definitely the most novel of all the balloons!
Or was it?
I thought the lighthouse definitely got points for novelty too.
The balloonists had set a course to drift over one of two ‘X’s set close to the town square. The balloon that dropped their marker closest to the ‘X’ got the best score. It was awesome to be so close to them!
It was interesting to learn that once air borne, it is not possible to change the course of the balloon – they can only go up or down. The skill of the pilot is in calculating how wind direction, speed and shear will affect their balloon’s flight path and launching at the right place. By changing their altitude they can also gain access to differing air streams that can help them to change direction, but it is not an exact science by any means, from what I could see. Not all the balloonists were able to drop their markers – some missed the drop points by quite a distance.
What a fascinating morning!